Toe Salad

Fall Hiking Clothing Checklist

For those of you who aren't quite ready for a long-distance trek yet but are looking to get out on some day trips, this post is for you. Day hiking makes up a significant portion of our outdoor activity when we are not out backpacking or trekking. We have a checklist for each season. The night before we head out on a day-trip we pull out the checklist. This is the one we use for most of our fall day hikes.

A Review of the Merrell Road Glove 3

I was never really interested in the Merrell Road Glove until it reached version three. The primary reason for my change of heart is the new sole. When I run, I always try to hit as many off-road trails as possible. The suburban area where I live has a lot of off-road possibilities, but I always have to combine it with running on tarmac and other hard surfaces. While the Road Glove 2 (with its flat sole) is a good shoe for hard and even surfaces, I would not trust them for off-road running. The Merrell Road Glove 3 is a different story...

A Review of the Ulysses, VIVOBAREFOOT's Huarache Sandal

For the past few summers I have been wearing sandals a lot, mostly the Teva Zilch and Teva Northridge. This summer marks the first time I have worn a huarache inspired sandal, the VIVOBAREFOOT Ulysses - a modern take on an ancient design.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 21: Resupply

You can't long distance hike without regular resupply. The most basic purpose of our resupply is to re-fill our food bags so we can get back on the trail. But much more is involved - eating prodigious amounts of food, washing thoroughly filthy clothing and gear, catching up on our communications, showering off days of sweat and grime, and as much kid relaxing as possible are all key pieces to our off trail days.

The Joe Nimble Woolster, a Winterized Minimalist Shoe

Oh the warmth of wool. It is a fact that my feet are perpetually cold in the winter, no matter the quality of my wool socks. The Joe Nimble Woolster is made of soft, flexible, felted wool that moves with my feet. Is this the winter shoe I have been waiting for?

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 20: Injury and Absence

Our long anticipated arrival in New England brings our most difficult trail situation to date. FIMBY sustains a foot injury and takes a rest period to recover, while the family continues hiking north. Tenacious Bling misses her mom. At the end of the rest period FIMBY rejoins the family for a trial hike to see if she is well enough to continue.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 19: 10 Down 4 to GO!

In New York state we are welcomed into a photographers' home to be a part of a thru-hikers photo project. On that same day we hike through a zoo and cross the Hudson river. After New York comes Connecticut, where we find water in the most unlikely of places, and... mosquitos. Hordes of them. The mighty Housatonic, rushing river gorges, and commuter trains to New York City all tell the story of the trail in New England.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 18: Partners with a Mission

In Pennsylvania we increase our daily mileage and re-connect with friends we met earlier on the trail. The YWAM team, reduced in numbers from their original group size, finds room in their hearts and space in their support truck to help us out. A partnership is formed and friendships are deepened as we all hike our way north. And we realize once again that people are the best part of this adventure.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 17: Pennsylvania & Slackpacking

At the Pennsylvania-Maryland border we cross the Mason-Dixon Line. Shortly after, we make camp by a contaminated water source but Toesalad is able to find water from a friendly neighbor. The Cumberland Valley offers a change of hiking scenery as we walk through cornfields and farmlands. We deal with cuts, bruises, blisters and ticks, but also discover the joys of slackpacking.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 16: Halfway

At Harpers Ferry, West Virginia we reach the psychological halfway point of the hike, if not the actual mileage halfway point. Tenacious Bling's spirits are buoyed by a new pink shirt and we take a day off with trail friend Brave and her family. After reuniting with old hiking friends and registering our progress at the historic Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters we are encouraged as we continue our trek through the Mid-Atlantic states.

Gossamer Gear Sponsors Beyond our Boundaries

It goes without saying that a backpack is an important piece of gear. After much consideration and research we decided on Gossamer Gear packs for four of our family members.

Rocket Pure Sponsors Beyond our Boundaries

To maintain foot health, not only do we pay attention to our footwear but also our foot care. Proper foot care is as important as choosing the right shoes and helps with everything from blister prevention to relieving muscle soreness and aches. Rocket Pure provides all natural foot care in the form of healing and preventative balms.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 14: Welcomes & Woes

In Virginia we welcome the grandparents to the trail. Together we enjoy a church hiker feed followed by our first night hike. Other highlights are the wild ponies of Grayson Highlands State Park and our first swimming hole. Along with the happy times we experience a few hardships - getting sick, broken shoes, and eating wieners from a can.

KidoFit Lily and Frogy - Summer shoes for Little Toes

Summer is in full swing, and I want my little one's toes to be free and bare as often as possible. However, there are times when that simply isn't practical. I like to have a couple pairs of summer shoes on hand for such occasions. The KidoFit Lily and Frogy have been my four year old's "go-to" shoes for the summer.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 13: Trail Days

In the middle of May, we arrive in Damascus, Virginia, just in time for the largest gathering on the Appalachian Trail - the annual Trail Days festival. A two day hiking break for our family includes checking out gear vendors, lining up for free hiker feeds, and visiting with trail friends. Padawan celebrates her 15th birthday in hiker style with cake and beer (root beer) at the Hyperlite Mountain Gear tent.

Beyond our Boundaries, Episode 12: Beauty and a Bee Sting

Every day on the trail offers unexpected gifts, sometimes very beautiful ones. We discover some of Tennessee's treasures and we deal with our family's first trail "injury", which didn't even happen on the trail.

Run, Climb, Scramble, Hike - Testing the Patagonia Rover

In claiming that they've built a shoe which works well for both minimalist-style trail running and climbing/scrambling/approach use, Patagonia has set themselves a high bar with the Rover. No other shoe claims the same, likely because there are a number of traits normally considered essential in minimalist running shoes which fundamentally contradict those found in good approach shoes. Patagonia managed to thread the needle and combine those traits, as well as pay attention to fundamentals and make a comfortable and durable shoe which does a lot of things well.